My mother and grandmother have beautiful skin. Glowing, smooth, and barely a hint of fine-lines. Sigh. Yeah, they're those types.
As the youngest female in our clan, one would think that I would have inherited such skintastic gorgeousness. I have been gifted, I think, with youthful good looks, but in the skin clarity department I've been blessed with less. I've been breaking out since I could drive. Like any teenage stage, I thought the pimples would become a memory like my senior prom. I had forgotten almost all of prom the morning after it, but my skin troubles have yet to become a thing of the past.
According to the
American Academy of Dermatology
, 80 % of adults from 20 - 30 suffer from mild to moderate acne, including: pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and nodules on the face, chest, back, and buttocks. It is the most common skin disorder in the US, and greater in women than men; although, men tend to have more severe cases due to larger levels of the hormone testosterone. Rrrrrr!
Acne is an overgrowth of bad bacteria, which happens when our hair follicles get plugged with natural oils. Adult acne can have many causes:
- Cosmetics with oil base - look for non-comedogenic (meaning won't block pores)
- Medications like steroids, birth control, hormone therapies and other treatments
- Oily skin types, which produce more oil that is potentially trapped within the skin
As with any bacterial infection, acne is conventionally treated with antibiotics - topically and internally. As we know, antibiotics don't discriminate between our good and bad bacteria. The problem? Our natural friendly bacteria, hard at work to fight the bad, are wiped out. This leaves our immune system defenceless, making us dependant on conventional treatments, even as the bacteria become stronger against it. Acne returns with a vengeance, giving meaning to the term acne vulgaris. As if hearing you have acne on its own weren't vulgar enough!
We can definitely treat and prevent acne naturally - in fact, many conventional drugs are synthesized lab-made versions of the natural original!
- Pick the right daily anti-acne regimen. Obviously I am an absolute sucker for all-natural beauty products (call me a junkie, if you will) and I love
- Look for spot-treatment products with and anti-inflammatory like salicylic acid (white willow bark)
- Exfoliate with lactic (milk), malic (apple), citric (citrus) and glycolic (sugar cane) acids
- A balanced diet will help keep your immune system functioning (staving off illness). It will feed your skin and body with the powerful ingredients necessary for glowing skin (and hair!), and keep hormones from swinging like a pendulum.
Most acne sufferers can and will find relief naturally. For some of us though, acne may need more than at-home help. Top 5 reasons to see doc about acne:
- Sudden breakouts in large areas
- You have never been diagnosed with acne before, could be rosacea or folliculitis, which look similar to acne
- Acne worsening despite home care
- Nodules and cystic breakouts: severe, can cause scarring
- Acne could be caused by medication
- Your skin is causing depression and insecurity
After diligently looking after myself both inside and out, my skin has repaired and resurfaced. I feel great inside, I look great outside, and I positively glow. I know you can too! If you are a fellow acne sufferer, go natural and give acne bacteria the boot.
And remember to smile - nothing boosts your beauty like a radiant outlook on life!